Everything Went so Wrong, No Help from Airbnb

Sorry if this is too vague, but I can check and verify all the details later if needed. I’m sure I don’t remember even half what happened. It was the summer of 2017, and I was on one of the Canary Isles – Teneriffe – with two boys, aged 18.

It was out of season, but surprisingly, most of the Airbnb hosts were also on holiday. There were not many options for staying, specially when we drove through the mountains. We found a normal looking house, and paid for two or three nights.

The host was suppose to be fluent in several languages, but when we arrived, he was so nervous that he couldn’t say more than ten words. The ceiling of one room was covered in kerosene, and the smell of chemicals was toxic. We opened the windows, and waited half an hour.

The bedroom heater was a humidifier, not a heater at all. Many places were so dirty that they were impossible to touch. There were no cups or plates in the kitchen (two mugs were shattered, and leaked tea on the table).

We could not sleep, because rats or rodents were living in the ceiling, drywall, and roof. There were ten more small things that weren’t so urgent, but were annoying/broken, etc).

We left early the next morning, after sleeping in our cold car outside. The host denied everything, and we didn’t even get a refund.

Airbnb handled the matter really badly. They asked for photos; we had photos of ten other things, but not the rats. The house was partly renovated, but attached to another half that was in ruins. Many areas were unsafe and not suitable for human habitation.

I’m 50 years old, and this was truly one of the worst experiences of my life, concerning places to sleep. The most concerning factor was Airbnb unable to offer any help , guidance, advice or anything.

How to Move on a Problem Airbnb Guest?

Someone please help me with some advice as how to address a guest who has kept the bedroom really dirty. He is a long-term tenant and the bedroom looks totally trashed. Fortunately he’s often out so he doesn’t use the kitchen very much.

He has told me he has never cooked in his life so when he cooks something he has burnt my frying pan and the things he’s washed are all grimy and oily feeling when I pick them up.

The bedroom is the main problem. It has been a month since he changed the sheets, doona cover, and pillow cases from his bed. It’s problematic in the hot Sydney summer. He’s also had a bad cold.

When I asked him to please change his sheets after a month, he agreed reluctantly and put the fresh sheets I’d given him over the bed. I noticed last week they had been pushed down and the mattress protector has also been pushed off; he’s sleeping on the bare mattress.

The room already smells really bad with empty biscuit and chip packets and a used jar of Nutella sitting open next to his bed. I know this because when he goes out he leaves his door open and I can smell the stench from the room.

I’ve had a similar problem in the past with a guest not changing their sheets during their stay in my spare room. After they left the sheets, doona, and pillows smelled of rancid sweat. The smell stayed on even after washing and I ended up having to throw it all out and buy a new set of everything.

I have even had problems with him using the bathroom. He left a soaking wet bathmat where he’s said he soaked the floor and had to mop up… so he used the mat, then left it scrunched in the corner. I’ve been repeatedly hanging the mat up to dry. When he couldn’t see where it was he used my personal hand towel to wipe the floor and then hung it back on the railing soaked and dirty.

I’ve tried talking to him but he’s often out. When I try to raise something he always says “yes” but keeps on with the same behavior. I feel like I’m living with a 15-year-old teenage son. Not a young man in his mid 20s. I get the distinct impression he has never had to clean up after himself. They are not necessarily big things but a series of little things that are incredibly frustrating.

I’ve tried ringing Airbnb and the assistant at the call center in the Philippines says I can’t do anything about it. They have discouraged me when I said I was considering asking him to leave. The latest is that he doesn’t flush the toilet properly after doing a number two. They discouraged me from asking him to leave, saying it would be negatively assessed by the organisation if I did so. They said if there is any damage to my property that I could only send them photos after he has vacated and then I’d have to submit a claim to their resolution center. I have another three weeks of this guest and I feel stuck. Any suggestions?

Under Construction Hell with Children in Tow

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We recently stayed at an Airbnb in Los Angeles. This was a family vacation with small children ages two and three, plus visiting family with a newborn 0-3 months, and another two-year-old toddler. We viewed all the site photos, read reviews, and thought the location was nice, the place looked good, and everything should be fine. We were wrong.

When we got there, the security code to get into our unit was wrong and the host did not let us know he had changed it. This was at 11:00 PM when we got there with crying children. We got inside with no safety lights down 20+ concrete stairs with – again – small children, and luggage. There was no lighting to see where or what we were going or doing, because it was pitch black outside.

After we finally get the door open in the dark, we looked for our pack and play for the toddler to sleep in. It was not there. I called the host and he told me he would bring it tomorrow. I said we requested this back in September when I booked this reservation and he had replied “No problem!” He complained about it to me via IM – never by phone – and told me I was a very demanding guest.

The next things to happen were so ridiculous that I could not even believe they happened, but they did. We were told in the listing the property had a BBQ grill that was very nice. It was not: it was a rusty, filthy, piece of crap, that had a broken gas regulator on it, unsafe, a plugged grill jets and so rusty you would get lockjaw from eating off of it. We again sent an IM. He told us again we were demanding and he was not responsible for a BBQ grill even though he listed the place as having one.

The next thing was the loose railing on the very large and scenic overlook on a cliff setting that was not secure or up to code. The code states 42″; his was maybe 36″ and very loose. If our grandchildren would have leaned on it it would have been disastrous.

We paid for the place to be cleaned and ready when we checked in. There was so much grime on the floors that our socks were always black from it. We would have even washed the floor ourselves but there was no proper equipment – no vacuum, no mop, only a two-foot broken sweep broom and a spray broom which really just pushes the dirt around. Black mold was in every corner.

The host would say the floors looked clean. They did, because it was a light colored vinyl floor that looks clean until you walk on it barefoot. This was our problem and we discussed it with our host, sent him photos, and asked if he could make any of this better. He came back with “I suppose I could come and clean it if you will be keep your complaints on the other things quiet.” I refused and took photos of what he considered acceptable to rent – a construction zone – and still charge full price for with only a half ass way of doing things.

I complained to Airbnb and they told me I had no claim because I waited until after I checked out to do so. We were all afraid we would have no place to stay if we did it ahead of that, and of course they said that would never happen.

I believe this is all a shame: bad Airbnb hosts getting away with poor listings, a system of checks and balances that does not work, and everyone still making money off of honest unsuspecting renters like us. If karma is working I am hoping this comes back to bite our host big time and am very glad none of our family got hurt or sick from such a poor listing.

Rental Nightmare From Smelly, Dirty Airbnb

I rented a home for the first time through Airbnb – worst mistake ever. I usually go through HomeAway and never had an issue.

The home I rented, for starters, was in an unsafe neighborhood. Directly across the street was a huge dumpster and alcoholics just doing their thing. The yard had dry weeds in the front.

Upon entering the home there was a foul odor of sewage. I decided to take a look around to see what the place looked like and discovered dirty dishes in the dishwasher. The refrigerator looked as if it should have been in the dumpster across the street. It had some sort of lining inside the refrigerator. It was dirty, not something I wanted to put anything in.

The microwave had food fingerprints as if someone recently had food on their hands and opened the door. The garbage can lid was completely soiled with who knows what. Because I had an event the next morning, I thought it was no biggie, I could take care of that.

I dashed off to Walmart for some cleaning supplies because I didn’t want to seek lodging this late in the game. I came back and proceeded to clean when I discovered there was no hot water. At this point, I realized I could not do anything without hot water.

At 7:41 PM I contacted the host. She messaged back saying she’d be by when she got out of her meeting. 10:00 PM rolled around and I didn’t hear from her. I messaged again. No answer. At 12:00 AM, she messaged saying she had come by, but it was late so she did not want to disturb me. Then she said she would send a plumber in the morning.

Now at this point I was tired and frustrated and just wanted to rest. I was sitting on the couch and one of the throw pillows fell to reveal a large white stain on the sofa.

Trust me; this nightmare wasn’t over. I decided I was not staying here. I messaged her letting her know I was leaving in the morning and I wanted a refund. She then messaged back saying I could change my reservation date… as if I would want to stay there.

I decided I was going to the bedroom. I opened the closet. Because the area was not so savory, I checked all of the closet. I found dirty sheets in a tote with no lid. I was disgusted at this point. I decide to pull back the covers on the bed; there were crumbs in the bed, and one of the pillows had something green on it.

Needless to say, there was no sleeping going on that night. As soon as daylight hit, I was out of there. I informed the host of everything, and requested a refund. She wants to give me $76.48 of my $264. I will never rent from Airbnb again.

Airbnb House Nightmare, Just Wanted a Clean, Quiet Place

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Our experience was horrible at an Airbnb in New Orleans. We paid the place five months prior to our convention and was expecting to have a great place to stay as advertised.

As soon as we arrived at the place, we knew it was unacceptable. From the posting, it says eight people could stay in four bedrooms. However, there were only three bedrooms. The previous guest wrote all over the wall, making the place filthy… and the notes were inappropriate. The washroom was filthy and disgusting. Mold was everywhere and the floor was so dirty. The neighborhood was unsafe; people were looking at us and checking the car park in front of the place. There was one comment that if we stayed a bit longer, we would get robbed. It was a serious situation. Neighbors were screaming and yelling in the middle of the night.

The same day we called Airbnb, complained, sent pictures of the place, explained our situation, and asked for a full refund. Instead they helped us to relocate to a better place. Again I had to call multiple times to be relocated. It took our Airbnb representative 17 hours to figure out how to transfer the funds to the new place. We had to pay the difference on the top of the original charge. Now, we are in the process of calling them to get that refund.

On the same day, Airbnb only gave us $500 to cover the costs and our credit card still got charged. If someone could help me: what else should I do to get compensated for this trouble? Our first day in New Orleans was a nightmare. We don’t know how we can get compensated for this matter. We all lost sleep and didn’t get enough rest; that ruined the first day of our convention.

Sub-Standard Standards at Wales Airbnb

A week in Wales went wrong from the start. We booked Friday to Friday but weren’t expected until that Saturday. The property was new to the host and not ready for letting, with many pictures and mirrors on the floor waiting to be hung. The host’s partner asked if he could stay over for a night to carry on with the preparation, leaving the Saturday afternoon after hanging a few pictures.

Our five-bed property had two usable bedrooms. The host had spent lavishly on bedding and towels, yet failed to clean the property which they had recently acquired after it had been empty for over 12 months. The host had inherited crockery, cutlery, and white goods from the previous owner. The crockery and cutlery was filthy, greasy and contained food residue from the last use (some months earlier) The cutlery tray was mouldy and contained dead insects; it was obvious that none of it had been cleaned since the property was purchased. The host had left a pair on her knickers hanging with the aprons in the kitchen. The lovely garden had a number of piles of dog dirt which ought to have been cleaned up before we arrived.

Rather than post a poor review we decided to give the benefit of the doubt to a new business (particularly as the host’s partner is a lovely man) and offered advice on where improvements could be made, in person, when we left. The host then posted a vicious personal attack on us, probably because she thought we might have left negative feedback. Unless the host has learned how to clean, or employed an outside cleaning company to deep clean this property, I would avoid it like the plague. Speaking of plague, we all had flea or bedbug bites on our feet and ankles during our stay at this holiday. I can’t say for sure where they came from but I have my suspicions. This ought to be a beautiful property and could be if the host takes on board guest feedback instead of posting vicious small-minded comments from genuinely disappointed guests.

Airbnb Host Lied About Refund to Cover up her Mess

On March 21st this year, my niece, her husband, and I stayed at an Airbnb property in Merimbula NSW, Australia. The three of us were on a road trip taking in parts of NSW and Victoria, and unfortunately our stay there was near the beginning of the trip. This property was not a good introduction to travelling in this country for my relatives who were visiting from the U.K.

On arriving at the property and taking an initial look around, my niece, who was walking upstairs to the main bedroom, could see the side of the bed where the doona was not fully covering the mattress. She was horrified to see a mark on the sheet, and on closer inspection, to realise it was blood.

She then called me and her husband to take a look and we found several more blood stains on the bottom sheet. The doona had obviously been laid on top of the sheet while the blood was fresh as there was a mark on the doona cover directly above one of the blood stains on the sheet.

I immediately rang the host, who sounded genuinely horrified and asked me to send some photos over to her, which I did right away. On receiving them, she rang me straight back and told me that it was the first time she’d used the cleaner (her usual cleaner was away) and was appalled and what we’d found. At the time she couldn’t apologise enough, telling me there was nothing she could do to help as she was on a course in the mountains, but promised me a full refund.

We then spent some time searching the property for clean bed linen (most of the cupboards were locked), only finding two doona covers which were a screwed-up bundle in the bottom of a cupboard. We stripped the stained linen off the bed and replaced it with these two doona covers and as we had no other option, my niece and her husband spent a nervous and uncomfortable night, sleeping on bedding that they didn’t even know whether or not was clean, but felt it was better than sleeping on blood-stained linen.

I declined from writing a negative comment on Airbnb as the host had been so obliging in offering us a full refund for the inconvenience caused. It is a decision I have come to regret, as despite my contacting the host I have received no refund at all. My niece has also sent two emails to her from the U.K. through the Airbnb site, and heard nothing. We are assuming she is totally ignoring us.

The experience we had here was a great disappointment, very unsettling, extremely unhygienic and totally unacceptable. I feel that other people should be made aware of what might await them at this property and that this host should not be permitted to continue to offer it for use. I would also like to add that we stayed at many other Airbnb properties on our trip which were all lovely and restored our confidence in other hosts.

Denver Airbnb Horror Story – Just go to a Hotel

My fiancé booked three nights at an Airbnb in Denver. The listing said that it was multiple acres of beautiful mountain country. It was less than an acre and it backed up to a trailer park. She barely missed crossing direct paths with a bear because of poor composting practices.

The listing advertised no pets. She found evidence of animals and the person tending to the property admitted to a dog being in the room. The door didn’t lock. There were holes in the door looking directly at the bed. It was repulsively disgusting. She found white dried up bodily fluids in the bed. When the person changed the sheets she watched in horror as the girl crawled around in the bed with filthy dirty bare feet to put the sheets on.

The host was rude and never even present. Airbnb has been rude, uncaring and dismissive. This host is terrible and a scammer, and Airbnb is a terrible company.

Airbnb has gotten so bad that they received a D- on Better Business Bureau. Magically recently they appear as an A+ now. When the BBB was asked why, they said it was a glitch. There’s no accountability. Just the fact that there’s a website called Airbnbhell.com is probably a red flag, but hopefully after reading this you will come to the conclusion to just stay at a nice motel. At least they will answer and be courteous and there is a management system in place to deal customer concerns.

If you were wondering: even after all of this we only received half of what we paid.

Absolutely Filthy and Unhygienic Flat in Edinburgh

I booked a stay for myself and my friend in a flat in Edinburgh hosted by a young couple. They were very nice in the messages exchanged, and when we got to the flat they were very friendly, kind, and accommodating. When we were shown to the bedroom, I could tell immediately that the floor wasn’t vacuumed because of the huge clump of brown hair in the middle of the floor plus all the lint everywhere. My friend and I tried to look past it because of how nice the hosts were.

Sadly, the immaturity of the hosts, and the filth of apartment making me physically ill caused us to check out two days early just to GTFO. As the days went by, things started becoming more and more distressing, but my friend and I really did our best to overlook the issues. First of all, the hosts are a Finnish woman and her much younger fiancé who is 23. I do not have any issues with age differences – in fact, I welcome them – but her spouse had all the maturity of a 15-year-old boy.

The first problem that came about from our stay was watching the terribly disrespectful dynamic between these two. The “Man Child” was exactly that; he refused to clean up after himself (he would leave his mess everywhere and wait for his girlfriend to clean once she got home from work), he somewhat proudly professed that he only eats chips (i.e. French fries), chicken nuggets, canned beans, and basically junk food, and he would stay at home all day on his days off or when he got home from work, sitting in the same spot in the living room, playing video games and yelling profanity at the TV screen.

I did not have much of a problem with the girlfriend because she was nice enough, though spineless. The Man Child completely ruined the stay because the apartment was absolutely filthy and it was mostly his doing. He expected his girlfriend to clean up after him, but she was only one person. He always left a perimeter of garbage (empty snack bags, take out bags, multitudes of empty Coke cans) and smelly dirty plates, bowls, and dishes around himself in the shared living room. What’s worse, is this guy expected guests to sit with him in the shared living room and socialize amongst his filth. The odor in the room was terrible. It smelled of whatever greasy food he ate, fart, feet, unwashed male, dog, and overall stagnation.

On their Airbnb profile, they asked that you clean up after yourself and respect their home. My friend and I did exactly that, but it’s difficult when the hosts themselves do not do the same. Man Child often left his cans of beans in the kitchen sink, and then he would emerge from his spot in the living room to greet you while being oblivious to the bean stains on his T-shirt. What’s more, the bathroom was always covered in brown hairs that obviously came from Man Child because he was the only person with brown hair. There were strands of brown hair all over the shower walls, and curly brown hairs scattered everywhere (which I sincerely hope were beard hairs) on the counter and bath tub.

Sometimes Man Child would mistakenly not close the door to their bedroom, and sadly we had to see the state of where they slept. It’s reminiscent of the bedroom of an angry and unhappy 13-year-old girl: piles of clothes literally everywhere, things and stuff strewn all over, and drawers that were broken and left like that. Holy slob, Batman. Watching the man child make his girlfriend do all the “woman’s work” was pretty unsettling. He straight up said that he would not do dishes. He did not do anything to help unless asked. I heard too many times his girlfriend asking “Man Child, come back and put the milk back in the fridge,” “Man Child, take out the rubbish,” “Man Child, put these away,” and so on.

The worst was one night when the girlfriend was making him dinner consisting of baked frozen French fries. When she had her back turned to Man Child (because she was doing the dishes) he took all the fries and left none for her. Her reaction was outraged yet restrained because we were sitting in the kitchen viewing the whole ordeal. I really liked this woman, but she allows herself to be blatantly disrespected like this, and of course, we cannot say anything to her; we are not friends, we are guests that paid to stay in their home.

Now, moving on to why we had to check out early, their apartment was so disgusting and dirty that I was getting progressively sicker. This apartment did have a big dog, and I do in fact have a pet allergy. Weeks before I got to Edinburgh I got in contact with the female host and asked if I would be okay in her home. She assured me that their dog was not allowed in the guest bedroom, so I made the booking falsely assuming what she said was true. I have stayed in other Airbnb’s with pets, and I managed just fine with one Claritin.

At this pig stein in Edinburgh, I found myself being consistently congested despite taking the meds, and I ended up developing a terrible and persistent dry barking cough that isn’t part of normal allergies. I was becoming more and more desperate to ask if I could vacuum their floors because I knew they were aggravating my allergies since who knows when they were last vacuumed. The carpets in the hall, the shared living room, and even the bedroom I was staying in seemed to have a thick layer of dust, dirt, hairs, and general filth. I kept telling the hosts that I am not allergic to dog hair, and I am allergic to dander. The hosts did not care.

For days I longed for the floors to be vacuumed because I knew it would make me feel better. Man Child kept saying “tomorrow I’m going to vacuum” and unfortunately I believed him. The false promise of cleaning started on a Thursday, and on Saturday I was so unwell that I was bedridden. My wheezing dry cough physically exhausted me, my eyes were red and swollen that they were nearly shut, and I ended up taking too much Claritin that it made me feel not like myself.

On Sunday morning I had had it. I went into the shared living room where the two hosts were hanging out, and I demanded that I (as in me, the person who paid to stay in their hovel) vacuum not only the guest bedroom, but their entire flat. The girlfriend immediately screeched “Man Child!” because he was supposed to do it. I insisted that I can do it, but the girlfriend firmly told me that she had asked Man Child to do it so therefore he has to do it. Man Child did vacuum then and there, but he also fed me the excuse that “I was too tired last night” several times despite me being very vocal about being so unwell.

Once the floors were vacuumed I miraculously recovered. I was better. No more coughing, no more wheezing, and I was myself again. I was so thankful, but then I faced the horrible realization that it was their general filth and squalor that was making me so sick, not their dog. In fact, the dramatic colour change of the carpets once vacuumed thoroughly disturbed me. At that point I was absolutely disgusted and appalled by the conditions they live in when they have paying guests. We only stayed at this apartment for three more days, and my friend and I decided to not be there as much as possible and to try and avoid socializing with Man Child.

That night I cooked a simple meal for my friend and I because I finally had the vigor to do that after being so sick. While we were eating, we had the misfortune of hearing both hosts doing some kind of lackluster sex game; the girlfriend was squealing loudly, and at one point Man Child had her over his shoulder and they came into the hall to display themselves. We did our very best to ignore them and try to enjoy our meal, but then the girlfriend called out to us to purposefully get our attention and ensure that we could see them. Gross.

The next morning came the final straw. I got out of bed at 10:00 AM and went to their bathroom. The toilet had shit all over the bowl, and flushing the toilet did nothing to remove the excrement. That was it; it was too much. Leaving a shit-encrusted toilet for your guests is just too disrespectful. What do they expect their paying guests to do? Clean their literal shit?

The hosts were not home. The flat is located 20 minutes walk away from a Tesco, and my friend and I actually walked to the public toilets there rather than use their unsanitary toilet. My friend and I decided to just book elsewhere and get out of this terrible flat. I tried to contact the hosts, and I really wanted to speak to the girlfriend because she had the maturity that Man Child obviously lacked. I left messages on Airbnb for them to contact me or my friend asap.

Unfortunately, Man Child called me, and I had to explain to them that we are checking out early because their flat is too disgusting with its filth and squalor, but the shit encrusted toilet is blatantly disrespectful to their paying guests. They cherry on top? My friend and I went into the shared living room that day and there were piles of dirty dishes, glasses, and empty ice cream containers everywhere, plus a pair of dirty panties on the floor that were obviously peeled off then and there. What were they doing in the living room? Not that it matters, but they obviously do not clean the couches after…. gross.

On the phone with Man Child I told him that we would come back at around 6:00 or 7:00 PM to return their keys and that we need to have a discussion. Both of the hosts were so nice in the beginning, and we did sit around and chat often enough. I decided that we owe them an explanation as to why we were checking out early, and also because I had a sliver of hope that if we confronted them about their unsanitary home they might change their ways.

We arrived promptly at 7:00 PM to find both hosts sitting in the living room surrounded by the same exact piles of dirty plates, glasses, and empty ice cream containers that we discovered that morning. Man Child left this situation entirely to his girlfriend and handled it like a 15-year-old boy in trouble; he sat there not making eye contact with us, and not contributing the conversation. The poor girlfriend sat there turning more and more red listening to us explain to her that her house is so filthy and unsanitary that it made me physically ill, therefore, we have to leave. She only averted her eyes when we mentioned the dirty panties. The most uncomfortable part of the whole confrontation is that neither of them apologized, nor offered an explanation or even defended themselves. We checked out early, and we did not receive a refund. It was worth losing money just to get out of the insult that is their home.

The Great Airbnb Wedding Debacle of 2017

Words can barely describe how terrible my experience with Airbnb was this past weekend. Let me take you on a journey that outlines my chaotic and downright disgusting travel story all thanks to Airbnb. On July 31st, I successfully booked a two-bedroom house using the Airbnb app for August 31st through September 3rd. I was given confirmation from the host on August 11th that the booking went through and that he was expecting us.

On August 27th I reached out to the host via the in-app message tab trying to extend the stay and add two more people to the booking, The host did not respond. I tried to add the extra two more days through the app, but soon saw that they were marked as “booked” and I figured that was why I did not receive a response from the host. I figured that once I checked in on the 31st I would let the host know that two more people were joining me and I would pay any additional fees at that time; I did not see a way to add guests to an existing reservation.

Fast forward to the day of our check in, August 31st, 3:00 PM. I received no email outlining our entry code or where a key could be located. I texted the host at 3:15 PM and received no response. I called the host at 3:30 PM and the phone number on file was a Google Voice number, not even a real number. I left a voicemail. I called the customer service number for Airbnb and was told that they needed to reach out to the host themselves as per protocol and that I would get a call back from them either way.

The remaining six hours of the day was a game of phone tag between me and the customer service representative. He had to wait two hours before he could cancel the reservation because we needed to give the host enough time to respond. That I could understand. What I could not understand was being made to feel as though the representative was doing me a favor by refunding my money and leaving me with nowhere to stay for over three days. When I asked for accommodations to be provided, I was met with resistance because “I did not book a stay for four people originally”. I had told the representative multiple times that I had tried to get ahold of the host before so that I could change the accommodations and pay any additional fees required.

Here we are sitting in a rental car for over two hours in front of the Airbnb hoping that the host was just running late. We were not hungry as we had to go to a rehearsal dinner at 6:00 PM so we did not take the advice of the representative to “get something to eat and take our mind off the waiting”… he did offer to give us $50 towards our dinner, but as I told him, I could care less about food when I had nowhere to stay for three days.

We waited for our host, eagerly watching every car that came down the street thinking it was him… but it wasn’t. Meanwhile as we sat in our rental car, we were trying to find accommodations either through Airbnb or a hotel of any kind. The problem was there were no vacancies at the hotels and there were no Airbnb’s available because of the holiday weekend and the late notice.

You are probably wondering why we didn’t just go to a different city. The whole reason we needed to to be in Pueblo was for our friends’ wedding. Two people from our party were standing up in the wedding and needed to be nearby to participate in the dinners, rehearsals, and events. Going to a different city was out of the question. With the lack of long-term accommodations anywhere in the city, we were able to secure a hotel room for one night only (as that was all they had). The service representative said that he found a house that could fit all of us on such short notice that looked “really nice”, and he was “sticking his neck out” to get us accommodations for four people. Let me reiterate that we would have never been in this predicament if the original host was vetted properly in the first place. Telling us that he was “sticking his neck out” and intending to make us feel like he was going out of his way did not make us thankful.

We got settled into our first hotel for the night of the 31st as there was no Airbnb available and we needed to get ready for the rehearsal dinner at 6:00 PM. Customer service said that Airbnb would cover the stay at the “very nice” house and that we would have Friday and Saturday night covered. I felt some relief, but it was very short lived.

On the morning of September 1st, I was happy to see the entry email for the new Airbnb host. I contacted the him and asked if we could check in earlier because we had to leave the hotel; the room needed to be vacated by 11:00 AM. Through the Airbnb app I communicated with the new host and he said that we could enter the house early and that someone would be around to clean as the other guests were leaving.

We packed our cars and headed to the new location, excited to finally get settled in. From the outside, the new house looked normal. Maybe the grass and bushes were a little overgrown and the paint was peeling, but it could have been nicer inside… nope. This “very nice” house was scary, dark, dank and anything but clean. Someone had clearly been smoking cigarettes in there, and the sparse furniture that was in the house smelled musty and must have been picked out of the garbage. Our rooms that we were supposed to sleep in were in the moldy basement. The kitchen where we planned on saving some money by preparing meals, was not suitable for food because of the layer of grime on all the surfaces. Half the appliances were out of order as they kindly stated this with a sticky note. Maybe we could have slept on top of the covers and not eaten in the house, but we couldn’t even get clean because the showers had mold up the walls. Not to mention the nasty dingy towels that were supposed to dry our “clean” bodies after we showered.

There was no amount of scrubbing that could possibly clean those bathrooms, so what do we do? Do we call Airbnb back again and deal with another six-hour long back and forth just to hear the same excuses? Do we complain to the current host about the conditions? What would that get us? We needed a safe, clean place to reside for the remainder of our trip. And it was clear that Airbnb was not going to help us.

We decided to contact a hotel in Walsenberg, CO (40 minutes from where we needed to be) and they had one room left. We pounced on the opportunity to have a clean safe place to rest our heads. We packed up the car and drove straight to Walsenberg so that there was no chance that they could possibly sell our room to anyone else. I didn’t contact the host of the second house as I was to distraught to even formulate a response to what we had just experienced. Our number one concern was securing clean and safe lodging for the next two days.

You are probably wondering what I want. I am going to tell you exactly what I want and need: I expect my initial charge of $192.00 to refunded to my credit card. I expect Airbnb to pay back the amount of money I spent on both hotels (I was forced to pay outrageously high prices because of the last-minute booking). I do not want an Airbnb credit; I want a check for the amount, sent to me so I can at least recoup the cost of the accommodations (not to mention the hundreds of dollars I am now out of because a party of four had to eat out every meal and the additional cost of gas for us to drive back and forth from the hotel). I expect that both hosts will no longer be able to rent out their houses. I expect a handwritten email in response to this letter acknowledging that my concerns and needs are being heard and addressed.